Donald Trump accepts Emmanuel Macron's invite to July 14 parade

A May 2017 photo shows Trump and Macron shaking hands at the Nato summit in Brussels.
A May 2017 photo shows Trump and Macron shaking hands at the Nato summit in Brussels.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to join his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris on July 14, French and US officials said on Wednesday (June 28).

Trump will attend the traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue, where US soldiers will march alongside French troops to commemorate the centenary of America joining World War I, Macron’s office said.

The White House confirmed the visit.

“President Trump looks forward to reaffirming America’s strong ties of friendship with France, to celebrating this important day with the French people, and to commemorating the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I,” his administration said.

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The two leaders, who sealed their first encounter last month in Brussels with a white-knuckle handshake, will “further build on the strong counter-terrorism cooperation and economic partnership between the two countries,” the White House added.

The invitation from France’s new 39-year-old president comes despite his public disagreement with Trump on climate change.

When Trump announced his decision to pull the US out of the 2015 Paris climate accord Macron hit back with an English-language appeal to “make our planet great again” – a riff on Trump’s own promise to “make America great again”.

This year’s Bastille Day parade comes 100 years after US troops landed in western France to help the Allied Powers to victory over Germany and its allies in World War 1.

Trump’s trip will follow a visit to France by Vladimir Putin in May when Macron hosted the Russian leader at the Versailles palace west of Paris.